BJP wants to win Assembly polls by increasing seats: Farooq

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‘Centre wants to divide PAGD but won’t succeed’

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 22: National Conference president and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah said today that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to win the Assembly seats proposed to be increased in Jammu division and form Government in Jammu and Kashmir but declared that it will not succeed.
In an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire which was telecast tonight, Dr Abdullah charged the BJP with trying to fulfill its dream of winning seats in Jammu to form the Government.
“They (the BJP) will never win the elections without rigging. People hate the party,” he said.
Asserting that the National Conference is going to challenge the Delimitation Commission report in the Supreme Court, the party president said they attended the Panel meeting as they wanted to know what the Commission is doing.
He was responding to criticism by People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Ghani Lone on double standards of the NC which boycotted first meeting of the Panel only to attend the second.
Asserting that the National Conference will never accept August 5, 2019 changes, Farooq said they have challenged changes in the court but don’t know why the Supreme Court is not hearing the case.
“We stand by our decision that the Delimitation Commission has been set up in breach of the Apex Court working as our case challenging August 5 decision is pending there,” he said.
Farooq made it clear that not only the National Conference but People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has opposed the Delimitation Commission’s proposal in its meeting held in Jammu yesterday.
The Assembly seats are increased on the basis of population. Kashmir has more population but it was given just one seat and that too in Kupwara. Srinagar has expanded so much but it was ignored, the former Chief Minister lamented.
Responding to a question that there were speculation that People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Mehbooba Mufti could part ways from the PAGD like Sajjad Ghani Lone, Dr Abdullah said Lone was maneuvered by the BJP to walk away.
“The PDP is also being harassed. Late Mufti Sayeed’s wife is being called by the Enforcement Directorate for questioning at this age. Mehbooba’s brother is also being summoned. These are the pressurizing tactics but Mehbooba won’t succumb,” Farooq said, adding the Centre wants to divide the PAGD but won’t succeed as it was united.
He described Sajjad Lone as “B team” of the BJP.
Farooq categorically ruled out any differences in the PAGD saying it is united and its all constituents met at Jammu yesterday.
He said it was the National Conference which followed the decision taken by the then Central Government and freezed delimitation till 2026.
“When I was the Chief Minister, we moved not to have delimitation till 2026. What was the hurry for the Central Government to set up Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir alone”? the National Conference president asked.